Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Encoding audio for Digital Cinema Packages

This is here to remind me to explore this issue further.  Here's the issue in a nutshell: DCPs expect audio in certain configurations: 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, 9-16 channel.

  • 2.0 = Left, Right
  • 5.1 = Left, Right, Center, LFE (subwoofer), Left Surround, Right Surround
  • 7.1 = Left, Right, Center, LFE (subwoofer), Left Surround, Right Surround, Left Center, Right Center
  • 9-16 Channel adds channel 9 through channel 16 to the 7.1 matrix

Notice anything missing?  There's no option for encoding just monaural sound (center channel).  It seems that the best option at the moment is to fake out the audio system by creating and encoding silent audio tracks in the unused channels of a 5.1 matrix for proper center audio sound:

  1. Left = silent track
  2. Right = silent track
  3. Center = monaural audio essence
  4. LFE = silent track
  5. Left Surround = silent track
  6. Right Surround = silent track

I just worry that this is not a proper workaround for the problem of the missing monaural only encoding.  There are some interesting forum threads on this issue that seem to accept that the silent track, while not great, is a viable workaround.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Busy Cinematic Weekend

So last weekend Meagan and I saw six movies from Friday evening through to Sunday evening.  That's a lot of cinema!

Friday evening we saw Dennis James play the pipe organ to Faust at the IU Auditorium.  For this screening he was joined by Mark Goldstein on the Buchla Lightning Wands.  James also played the theremin to portray certain scenes in the film.

Saturday afternoon we saw Bride of Frankenstein and Freaks at the IU Cinema.  This was the first time I had seen either of these films and they didn't disappoint.  I was struck by how similar Young Frankenstein was to Bride of Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein really paid homage to Bride.  Freaks was definitely an interesting story and the first exploitation film that I've seen and critically thought about.  All in all, a great double feature.

Saturday evening we saw The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and Beverly Lane at the IU Cinema.  I hosted the program and facilitated curtain talks with the filmmakers for each feature.  We brought in Ben Dobyns from Washington state via videoconferencing for an informative round of questions from the audience.  After screening Beverly Lane, the audience talked with Dave Ross and received an insiders view of the production process in work.

Sunday evening I stayed home with the boys and watched Last Man Standing (after the boys were in bed) and Meg went out to see One for the Money at a friend's house.  I was really looking forward to seeing Last Man Standing as it is the latest remake of the classic samurai film, Yojimbo, by Akira Kurosawa.  Yojimbo was initially remade by Sergio Leone as A Fistfull of Dollars.  I love that the story went from a samurai in feudal Japan to a cowboy in the wild west to a gangster during Prohibition.